Old Mill Updates

Practical guidance for our rural and farming clients #32

In this week’s rural update we discuss:

  • COVID-19: Government increases flexibility of loan repayments
  • COVID-19: HMRC waives late filing and late payment penalties
  • COVID-19: New options to pay deferred VAT payments
  • Brexit: A new way of working for UK businesses
  • The Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF)

Rural webinar invite: Join us as we summarise the Spring Budget 2021 at 9.00am on Friday 5 March by clicking here.

If you have any questions about any of the topics we discuss in this update or relating to your own business please do get in touch with your Old Mill adviser in the first instance, or alternatively click here…

24th February 2021


COVID-19: Government increases flexibility of loan repayments

If you took out a Government-backed Bounce Back Loan to help you financially through COVID-19 then you now have greater flexibility to repay that loan.

You can delay all repayments for a further six months. This means businesses can choose to make no payments on their loans until 18 months after they were originally taken out.

You can extend the length of your loan from six to ten years (reducing monthly repayments by almost half) and make interest-only payments for six months to tailor your repayment schedule to suit your individual circumstance.

This is in addition to the Government covering the costs of interest for the first year of the loan.

Lenders have been asked to proactively inform their clients of this ‘pay as you grow’ announcement and should be sending correspondence three months before a client’s first repayment is due.

If you are finding loan repayments difficult to navigate, you are welcome to speak to your Old Mill adviser who will be happy to assess and advise on a repayment plan.


COVID-19: HMRC waives late filing and late payment penalties

HMRC has waived the late filing penalty for taxpayers who were unable to submit their Self-Assessment tax returns before the deadline of 31 January.  If you were in this unfortunate situation, you now have until 28 February to file your return to prevent a penalty of £100.

And, if you owe tax you now have until midnight on 1 April to pay any outstanding tax or set up a payment plan, this will prevent you from receiving a 5% late payment penalty. Your Old Mill adviser will be happy to help with collation and submission of your tax returns.

Please remember that interest will still accrue on any outstanding balance from 1 February onwards so do speak with your Old Mill adviser to work out the best payment plan.


COVID-19: New options to pay deferred VAT payments

If you deferred VAT payments between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make, you now have more options to repay:

  • Pay the deferred VAT in full, on or before 31 March 2021
  • Join the VAT deferral new payment scheme – the online service is open between 23 February and 21 June 2021
  • Speak to HMRC to work out a payment plan on 0800 024 1222 by 30 June 2021.

Brexit: A new way of working for UK businesses

The UK is officially no longer in the EU in so far as trade and related indirect tax matters are concerned. There have been almost daily reminders over the past few months of the various difficulties facing UK businesses, especially in our trade with Northern Ireland. At the forefront, stand our agricultural and farming sectors.

Old Mill VAT adviser, Marianne Hawksworth has detailed the key international import or export VAT and customs points arising and which are of pertinence to the rural sector:

  • What has changed?
  • Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI)
  • Exports
  • Imports
  • VAT accounting and statistical returns
  • What else do I need to think about?

Click here to read her article.


The Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF)

A new fund (NEIRF) has been announced by the Government to support their goals in environment and greening over the next 25 years.

The grant, administered by the Environment Agency, provides eligible businesses between £10,000 and £100,000 to support the development of environmental projects in England.

The application window opened on 10 February and closes at 5pm on Friday 26 March 2021.

More details and eligibility can be found here.  As with all grants and funding, there is more detail within the financial and tax implications that should be considered before pursuing. Speak to your Old Mill adviser in the first instance.


Webinar invite: Join us as we summarise the Spring Budget 2021

Following the Spring Budget 2021 being held on 3 March, farmers and rural business owners will need to understand what announcements will affect them, their business and their family.

You are invited to join Old Mill’s Rural Tax Specialist, Catherine Vickery, and Rural Financial Planner, Julia Banwell, as they summarise the Spring Budget and highlight areas that farmers and rural businesses will need to address going forward.

To join us on Friday 5 March at 9.00am click this link and book your place.


And lastly…

Zoe Welch, who worked with us during her placement year from Harper Adams is completing her agricultural dissertation. Please can you help her by spending five minutes completing her questionnaire?

‘If you a farmer in a position of managerial control in your family farm business, it would be greatly appreciated if you could spare 5-10 minutes of your time to complete my anonymous questionnaire concerning succession, retirement and inheritance on family farms in England’

Zoe Welch BSc (Hons) Farm Business Management


If you have any questions about any of the above please do get in touch with your adviser in the first instance, or alternatively click here…